Monday, October 24, 2016

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Mike Zimmer named one of NFL's Most Influential
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Mike Zimmer has long been respected by NFL coaches. Now, after he led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and a division championship, the national media are starting to catch on. Peter King’s The MMQB has named him one of the NFL’s 100 Most Influential People of 2015. Zimmer came in at #65 on the list, the 10th highest rated head coach.

Gary Grambling of The MMQB writes of Zimmer:

It took too long for someone to hire Zimmer as a head coach. Now he’s showing why he deserved the job. In his second season, he took the Vikings to an NFC North title, its first since 2009.

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Should the Vikings take a chance in the middle of the NFL draft on this undersized linebacker?

[This Eric Striker Scouting Report, with a Vikings slant, has been provided to Vikings Territory by Draft Season. Be sure to check back for more and also be sure to visit Draft Season to quench your NFL Draft thirst. All previously published scouting reports can be found by clicking here.]

Eric Striker | Linebacker, Oklahoma


Height – 5’11”
Weight – 228 lbs.
Age – 21-22 yrs.

At First Glance

First Team All-Big 12

Projected Round:

3rd to 4th Round

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Minnesota Vikings have hired Brent Salazar
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The rash of pectoral injuries may finally be over in Winter Park. As announced on the Minnesota Vikings’ official website, the team has named Brent Salazar its Strength and Conditioning coach. Salazar spent the previous nine years (2007-2015) with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was a strength and conditioning assistant.

The announcement comes a little less than a month after the Vikings’ decision to part ways with Evan Marcus, who held the same position from 2014 to 2015. Under Marcus, the Vikings moved to a free weight program in the 2014 offseason that eliminated the use of certain machines. His shift in philosophy coincided with setbacks to a number of players. Josh Robinson, Brian Robison, Jerick McKinnon, Brandon Fusco, and Phil Loadholt all fell victim to weight room-related injuries.

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Mock draft selection Jaylon Smith
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See my entire first 2016 NFL Mock Draft by CLICKING HERE.

I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary at Vikings Territory, and one of my first posts happened to be a mock draft. It wasn’t just my first mock draft for the website, but the first mock draft I’d ever done. Admittedly, I was going in blind, researching prospects, and spending hours at a time reading the analysis of much smarter draft minds than myself.

Fortunately, my “in the dark” guess turned into a jackpot, as the Minnesota Vikings selected Trae Waynes with the 11th-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Waynes ran the fastest time among all cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine, and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller wrote at the time that the Vikings had a first-round grade on the Michigan State corner.

In today’s age of #DraftTwitter, Draft Breakdown, and Draft Season, a fan like me can make educated guesses on what a team will do come the first round. This year, I’ve discovered another tool to help me in the decision-making process — FanSpeak’s Mock Draft Simulator. It’s a fun way to play the role of general manager and pull the trigger on your favorite prospect. In four of the five simulations I ran (using the CBS Big Board), the prospect I wanted was available. And that prospect was…

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Image courtesy of Vikings,com

Last week, it was all about the offensive and special teams free agents that could potentially land in Minnesota this offseason. This week, it is all about the defense.

For a unit that ranked fifth in points allowed last season, one would think that the Vikings do not have much to improve upon for 2016. However, improving in a few areas this offseason with free agent signings could help propel Minnesota’s defense into one of the NFL’s best in more categories than just points allowed.

Finding a safety to play next to Harrison Smith is priority number one on this defense’s offseason checklist, as well as improving the play at few other positions. The Vikings, who spent the fourth least amount on free agents last offseason, will likely bring in players who put a smaller dent in their wallet and shy away from the free agents looking for their big payday.

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